Sunday, April 24, 2016

Post-Game 19 Thread: Dodgers Win Despite Another Short Wood Start AND Necessary Ninth-Inning Comeback


It's a rare occasion these days, for me to be able to watch a game live alongside another Son. (I'm working on this issue.)

But watching with SoSG AC today, we were giddy watching the Dodgers squander a 7-1 lead, capped by a five-run Rockies bottom of the eighth that just about nailed the coffin shut for the Dodgers--only to see us miraculously counter with five runs of our own in the top of the ninth, to win the game 12-10. This was truly unbelievable, and we were both going nuts with despair and then elation. And this is why baseball is so great.

Alex Wood sucked again, struggling through five innings before exiting in the sixth with another horrible line (5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB and 5 Ks; his ERA is now 6.00 and he has had only one outing (of four) longer than five innings). So look, I had expected to lose this game, given Wood was starting. Even though Pedro Baez pulled off an impressive escape routine in the sixth. Even though Adam Liberatore had a scoreless seventh. And even though my fears came to fruition in the eighth, when Chris Hatcher proved ridiculously ineffective yet again (four batters, two hits and a walk, 3 ER), Luis Avilan let another two runs in, and Joe Blanton was needed to get the comebacker 1-6-3 DP to end the nine-batter frame.

Down 10-7 going to the ninth, it looked pretty bleak for us to try and take the game and this series. Adrian Gonzalez led off with a single to right; Yasmani Grandal forced Gonzalez at second, but advanced to third on Howie Kendrick's one-out single. Kike Hernandez walked, and Trayce Thompson hit into a FC at second.

With two out and down 10-8, pinch hitter A.J. Ellis singled to center to score Kendrick and make it 10-9 Rockies. And then a wild pitch by Jake McGee scored Thompson, and Chase Utley (2-for-6 with three runs and a RBI) doubled in Charlie Culberson (who had PR for Ellis). Corey Seager then doubled home Utley, to make it 12-10 Dodgers, and we too had notched five runs and nine batters in the next frame.

This is the kind of comeback victory that makes players believers. This is the kind of win that has one think, "wow, this team has some magic here." It's early. But this could be a turning point in this young season.

With the win, the Giants' 5-4 loss to the 6-11 Marlins, and the Snakes' loss to the Pirates, the Dodgers are in first place by 2.5 games with a 12-7 record. What a surprise that one game can make. We'll need it...especially when Wood starts.

graphical thingy courtesy fangraphs